We understand how upsetting it is when a loved one passes away. As well as coping with the grief and the immediate aftermath of the death, family members can often be left with the responsibility of administering the estate, a task that is often time-consuming and complicated, with many possible legal pitfalls along the way.
Often, the loved one will have made a Will but, in other cases, no Will has been made and the estate will need to be administered under complex legal rules called the Intestacy Rules. In some cases, a Will may have been made but it turns out to be invalid.
Whatever the situation, nothing significant can be done in relation to assets and property until approval has been obtained from the Probate Registry through a Grant of Probate (where there was a Will) or a Grant of Letters of Administration (where there was no valid Will).
Here at hpjv solicitors we are able to offer a sensitive, professional and cost-competitive service designed to guide you through these processes. We can offer a flexible service tailored to your needs, whether that is simply assisting you to obtain a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration, or assisting you to administer the whole estate from start to finish.
Speak to one of our expert estate administration solicitors in Newport today by calling 01633 242 526 or use the contact form on the right to ask a question.
How we can help you with estate administration
We can provide as much support as you need for the administration of an estate, whether that means providing general advice, assisting you with one or two parts of the process, or handling the entire estate administration for you.
Our estate administration services can include assistance with:
- Reviewing the Will and establishing who all of the beneficiaries are
- Applying for Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration
- Collecting all of the assets included in the estate
- Having the estate valued
- Submitting the valuation and any Inheritance Tax (IHT) due to HMRC
- Selling any property or other assets included in the estate as required
- Paying any debts owed by the deceased e.g. their mortgage and final bills
- Transferring title of any property or other assets
- Distributing any bequests made in the Will or according to the rules of intestacy
- Ensuring proper accounts are prepared
- Dealing with any inheritance disputes that arise
Common questions about estate administration
What does administration of the estate mean?
This refers to all of the legal and practical process involved in dealing with the estate of someone who has passed away, including ensuring any Inheritance Tax and debts owed by the deceased are paid and that the estate is distributed to the relevant beneficiaries.
What is the role of the Administrator of an estate?
The Executor or Administrator has various key responsibilities, including:
- Applying for Grant of Probate/Letters of Administration
- Having the estate valued
- Ensuring Inheritance Tax and any debts owed by the deceased are paid
- Paying any other necessary costs, such as for accountancy, valuation or legal services, which can usually be paid out of the estate
- Distributing the assets from the estate to the beneficiaries
- Having proper estate accounts prepared
What is the difference between an Executor and an Administrator of an estate?
If the deceased left a Will, they will have named one or more people to act as the Executor or Executors of their estate. This is the person the deceased nominated to deal with probate and the administration of their estate.
Where more than one person has been named as an Executor (as is common) then either one of these people can choose to act alone or two or more Executors can act together to deal with the estate administration. It will be their job to carry out the deceased’s wishes for their estate as set out in their Will.
If the deceased failed to leave a valid Will, someone will need to apply to be the Administrator of their estate. This will usually be the deceased’s next of kin. The administrator will need to deal with the deceased’s estate according to the standard rules of intestacy, which set out who is entitled to inherit where there is no Will.
How do you become an administrator of an estate?
If there is a Will, you will need to apply to your local probate registry for a Grant of Probate. This will give you the legal authority to deal with the deceased’s estate, including collecting the assets, valuing the estate, paying Inheritance Tax and distributing the bequests.
If there is no Will, you will instead need to apply for Letters of Administration. Once these have been granted, you will have the same legal authority and responsibility towards the deceased’s estate as if you had received Grant of Probate.
How long does an Executor have to settle an estate in UK?
There is no set time limit for an Executor of Estate Administrator to settle an estate. The only firm deadline is that any Inheritance Tax due on the estate must be paid within 6 months of the deceased’s date of death.
What is considered part of an estate?
Anything owned by the deceased can be considered part of their estate, e.g.:
- Their home (or their share in a family home)
- Other investments
- A business
- Personal possessions
Certain gifts made by the deceased within the seven years preceding their death may also be considered part of their estate for Inheritance Tax purposes, depending on the circumstance, so it is vital to take expert legal advice on this point.
Speak to our estate administration solicitors in Newport today
If you need support administrating an estate but you aren’t sure what to do, let us give you the answers. Contact us today for an informal, no-obligation, chat or to arrange a Free First Consultation.